Letter | Published:

Chemical Nature of Parathyroid Hormone

Naturevolume 180page1429 (1957) | Download Citation



MOST of the data accumulated in the past thirty-two years1 has led to the conclusion that parathyroid hormone is a protein. In 1954, Handler, Cohn and Dratz2 attempted to purify this hormone by means of ion-exchange chromatography, but found hormonal activity associated with a number of protein peaks. On the basis of their results, they suggested that the hormonal activity might reside in a smaller molecule, presumably not necessarily nitrogenous, which readily absorbs on proteins. Raoul, Mornay and Prelot3 have recently claimed to have prepared, by two different lipid extraction methods, a highly active material which did not contain nitrogen. On the basis of unreported evidence, they suggested that this active substance was steroidal in nature. Since the D vitamins, which are steroid, closely mimic, in some respects, the action of parathyroid hormone on bone and kidney, the possibility that this hormone is a steroid merits consideration.

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  1. 1

    Greep, B. O., Chapter 7 in Pincus, G., and Thimann, K. U., “The Hormones”, 1 (Academic Press, Inc., New York, 1948). Greep, B. O., and Kenny, A. B., Chapter 4 in Pincus, G., and Thimann, K. U., “The Hormones”, 3 (Academic Press, Inc., New York, 1955).

  2. 2

    Handler, P., Cohn, D. U., and Dratz, A. F., in “Metabolic Interrelations with Special Reference to Calcium”, trans. 5th Josiah Macy Conf., 320 (Progress Associated, Inc., New York, 1954).

  3. 3

    Raoul, M. Y., Mornay, C., and Prelot, M., C.R. Acad. Sci., Paris, 240, 1151 (1955).

  4. 4

    L'Heureux, M. V., Tepperman, H. M., and Wilhelmi, A. E., J. Biol. Chem., 168, 167 (1947).

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    Davies, B. M. A., Gordon, A. H., and Mussett, M. U., J. Physiol., 125, 383 (1954).

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    Dyer, F. J., Quart. J. Pharm. Pharmacol., 8, 197 (1935).

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    Present address: Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York City


  1. Medical Unit, University College Hospital Medical School, London, W.C.1.



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